(July 15, 2016)
Honorable Abdallah Abubakari, Minister of the Northern Region,
Respected Traditional Leaders,
President, Secretary General and Members from Ghana-China Friendship Association,
Dear Teachers and Students,
Good morning! It's a great pleasure for me to visit the beautiful Northern Region again and celebrate the handover of China-aided ICT Centre to Nyankpala Junior High School. I always have a soft spot for this region and long for doing practical things for its people.
At the 2016 Summer Davos Forum, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said "Mankind has the wisdom of embracing new hope." China can do, so does Ghana.
In the context of sluggish global economic growth, Chinese government has vigorously advocated innovation to achieve development, carry forward the structural reform, especially on the supply side, effectively release the creativity of labor force and market potential, and promote the "mass entrepreneurship and innovation" initiative. China's economy achieved 6.7% growth in the first quarter of this year, created 5.77 million jobs, while the unemployment rate was controlled at 5.02%.
Last year, the Johannesburg Summit of Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) formed the "Five Pillars" and "Ten Cooperation Plan" of China-Africa relations. China Ghana cooperation, catalyzed by the mechanism of FOCAC, has yielded fruitful achievements in various sectors. China-Ghana trade volume hit a historic high of USD 6.6 billion in 2015. Over a long period of time, China has provided Ghana significant disinterested assistance by financing and aiding projects such as University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho, Cape Coast Sports Stadium, Atuabo Gas Processing Project, Bui Dam and Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project. All these projects inject strong impetus into the transformation and upgrading process of Ghanaian economy as well as plug in wings of hope for the economic take-off.
As the largest region in Ghana and abounds in vast land and natural resources, the Northern Region has great development potential. Last month, Chinese embassy in Ghana and the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) successfully held a China-Ghana Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum in Accra. The both sides actively discussed the possibility to develop the whole region under the support of Chinese government and enterprises. Being the hub of SADA Zone, the Northern Region will usher in new development opportunities once in a blue moon. The small town of Buipe would most likely to be built as the logistics transit base linking Volta River and Land Transport. If all these happen as planned, the Northern Region and SADA Zone will take on a new look and turn to be the most prosperous and energetic place in Ghana. The people here will enjoy a new better life.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear students,
Every time I am together with vibrant young people, my heart is full of hope. Chairman Mao, the founding leader of New China, said,"the world belongs to the old and the young alike, but its future lies in the hands of the young ones after all. The youth, full of vigor and vitality, are as fresh and promising as the morning sun at 8 or 9 o'clock. Hopes are placed on you."
I would like to raise some expectations to the teachers and students present today:
--I hope you would widen your knowledge about the wonderful outside world to expand horizons. "Travelling is a good way to experience life". Knowledge and experience, is the most valuable wealth of everyone. If you cannot travel, this ICT Centre could be a key and access to the outside world. No matter how far of the distance, it is just at your fingertips. You can surf the internet to enjoy the long and splendid history, colorful human civilization, magnificent landscape of the earth as well as the breathtaking technology innovation. Then, the world will be more dimensional, more vivid and more interesting in your eyes.
--I hope you would adapt to the new changes of developing times and keep pace with it."History progress never wait for watchers and lazy boots."When numerous developing countries are still in the efforts to implement the second industrial revolution, the fourth industrial revolution has been emerging. The updating speed of knowledge technology is incogitability and society informatization becomes a new trend. The fastest supercomputer in the world, named Sunway Taihu Light, has the processing power per minute to be equivalent to the capacity of 7.2 billion people using calculators unstoppable in 32 years. The technologies such as "Internet plus", artificial intelligence and satellite communications progress with each passing day and change the human society profoundly. Young people have to keep up with the development of era, use wisdom and science and technology to transform your life and create a new era.
--I hope you would persist in personal improvement and take social responsibility actively. Chinese saying goes,"Life misery starts at literacy",means that the people with more knowledge will shoulder more responsibility. Generally speaking, young men tend to put personal interests as priority,but will gradually understand and take the family and social responsibility with age. However, unless people keep on perusing consistent personal improvement and exploring the unknown, can they realize and take the responsibility of the state, nation and even human beings, let alone to be a great man with personal charisma.
Finally, here is a quote of Mr. Kofi Annan as saying that--"To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there."I hope all of you study hard to improve yourself, and thrive to become a great Ghanaian as Mr. Kofi Annan that is respected by the whole world.